The Political Is Personal: How to Release the Life Force Into Your World
In our corner of the great Multiverse, Mercury, the ancient Messenger of the Gods, is one of the busiest energies there is. Only the Moon moves faster, or has more on her plate. For most of October, Mercury has been doing the ancient dance with Venus that astrologers call a sextile. This weekend, he’s spreading clues everywhere as he dances with the Love Goddess. They’re clues about your future and that of our world. They’re messages about how to release the power of Life into the world.
The sextile is a cosmic dance that creates opportunity. It’s not the kind of opportunity Jupiter brings. This isn’t the windfall that’s dumped in our laps with extravagant largesse. Instead, the textile brings is an opportunity that can only be activated by our own effort. It’s a promise that if we do, something will change. When the dance goes on for an entire month, as this one does, the opportunity is big. One might even say “massive.”
The big opportunity that Mercury and Venus are dancing into being, and asking us to act on, involves perception and Love. When the signs involved are Scorpio, where Mercury is now traveling, and Virgo, where Venus is at the moment, it’s an opportunity of transformative perception. It’s a process of perceiving Love that will lead you to shed the old, dead skin you’ve been carrying around.
Extraordinary Opportunity Straight Ahead: Three Signs
1. Something huge is happening with Venus. Something really huge. Mercury is dancing with a Cosmic Feminine who’s energetically empowered in a way she hasn’t been in thousands of years. Together they are creating the opportunity for her to return to our consciousness–and your life.
I talked about this last week (Turning Up the Heat on the Cosmic Feminine), but it’s so momentous it bears repeating. On October 5, Venus became only the second planet to have passed before the ancient royal star Regulus since it moved into Virgo almost a year ago. After 2,1
2. Mercury is getting ready for his third and final retrograde of 2012, which begins the day after the U.S. presidential election. A retrograde transit is a cosmic vision quest. A planet turns its back on what’s happening now, and goes looking for something that we’ve overlooked, forgotten, or lost. Usually it’s something we don’t even know we need.
Astrologer Molly Hall has called this a “dot-connecting” retrograde. In her Astro Mythos blog, Hall nails the question Mercury’s retrograde into Scorpio will ask of all of us. “How does the big picture change when you see the emotional reality, and with the eyes of the soul?” She predicts we’ll all experience “a recall of what’s been unspoken, denied, repressed, but that’s lived on in the soul — and demands expression.”
On Friday, Mercury entered the “shadow zone” of his upcoming retrograde. For the next 16 days, he’ll be moving through the degrees he’ll soon be revisiting. The clues he’ll be looking for then are being strewn now, throughout your life. They’re being hidden in your conversations. They’re folded into your dreams. They’re the secrets in the news headlines. Only after Mercury returns from his vision quest, however, will you begin to understand what they really mean.
3. Today Mercury activates the degree that the Sun and Moon will occupy in the total solar eclipse that occurs November 13, a week after the elections. An eclipse is one of the most potent tools in the Universe for making change. When it comes in Scorpio, it’s going to be powerful.
The Universe is offering us the opportunity to renew our lives by shedding the dead skin of old ways of perceiving. It’s an opportunity that resonates deeply with the Buddhist tradition and its over 2,000-year-long probe into the mind as a tool for liberation.
Like the pre-patriarchal shamanic practices that have been revived by Robinette Kennedy and the yogini tradition that is being re-created by Chameli Ardagh’s Awakening Women Institute, the Buddhist tradition is being revitalized in the West by reconnecting with its feminine energies. At the forefront of this new ground is a remarkable group of Western Buddhist women. Here are just a handful.:
Breaking Open the Feminine Ground: Three Contemporary Women on Virgo’s Ancient Path
1. Lama Tsultrim Allione: Instead of fighting your inner demons, feed them. This is the advice of Lama Tsultrim Allione, founder and spiritual director of Tara Mandala, an international Buddhist community in Colorado. Her book Feeding Your Demons sets forth the five-step process she has developed for transforming our inner conflict–not by declaring war on ourselves, but by responding with compassion to our frailties. By giving our inner demons the attention they seek, she says we can transform them into our fierce allies. Allione, the first Western woman to be ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist nun, has based her approach–and her own spiritual path–on the life of an extraordinary 11th-century Tibetan yogini, Machig Labdron.
2. Pema Chodron: Feel your wounds and connect with your vulnerability. Pema Chodron, the American Buddhist nun who is resident teacher at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, is the author of many books, including Things Fall Apart: Heart Wisdom for Difficult Times and The Wisdom of No Escape. “Usually we fight with uncomfortable emotion or act it out in habitual ways; we want things on our own terms and don’t want to think about how they affect others,” Chodron says. “But by embracing these realities, we can heal and open up to the fundamental joy that is our birthright. We can connect with our noble heart.”
3. Tara Brach: Ground your transformation in your own body. Psychotherapist and senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, Brach is the author of Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha. ” The body lives in the present,” she says. “When you are aware of the body, you are connected with living presence—the one place where you can see reality, see what is actually happening. Awareness of the body is our gateway into the truth of what is.”
The Political Is Personal
“If we want there to be peace in the world, we have to be brave enough to soften what is rigid in our hearts, to find this soft spot and stay with it,” says Pema Chodron. “We have to have that kind of courage and take that kind of responsibility.” As I write these words, the Cosmos is already preparing the ground of the month to come. Its benchmarks include a deeply contested U.S. presidential election, followed by Mercury’s retrograde back into Scorpio and a total solar eclipse in Scorpio.
As they dance the opening act into being, Mercury and Venus that the political is deeply personal. The feminine side of reality–the side that the Cosmos is energetically blessing– is seldom expressed in our public life and too little honored even in our private life. Instead of feeding demons, we antagonize them. Instead of embracing wounds, we project them. Instead of staying in our bodies, we dissociate by dividing left brain from right.
In these waning days of October, the Cosmic Feminine and her ancient lover Mercury ask you to recognize that not only is the personal political–the political is also personal. By embracing the vulnerability of our human hearts, we can shed the dead skin from our own lives and the life of our body politic. We can release the power of the life force into the world.